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  • No matter how many expressions I pull, or faces I make, or things I say

  • I can't describe how good that was.

  • So in Japan there are five types of famous beef.

  • And today we're off to go and see one of them and that is Yonezawa beef.

  • The city of Yonezawa beef is in the south of Yamagata, which is the place where I've been living the passed 3 years.

  • But somehow I've never actually eaten any steak from there.

  • So this is it this is what I've been waiting for, for 3 years.

  • I'm joined today by Ryotaro.

  • -Hello -He is Japanese

  • -I'm Japanese. -But he thinks he's British.

  • Alright I am….what do you think.

  • That's exactly what we sound like in the UK.

  • Do I sound like a pom?

  • Incredible impressions of a British person aside,

  • what are we doing today?

  • We're eating the beef tomorrow, so today we're going to a Ryokan?

  • A traditional Japanese inn.

  • That's right.

  • Why this ryokan? Why did we choose this one?

  • Ok so, when I sort it on the website I saw this really great outside bath with a waterfall.

  • Ah like at onsen?

  • That's right.

  • And with the snow I think it'l look very nice.

  • So we've got an onsen -a hot spring,

  • a ryokan - a traditional Japanese inn

  • and Yonezawa beef.

  • This is going to be a good trip.

  • This is Ryotaro's music. Madonna.

  • Madonna.

  • This is whatthis came out in 1980 something.

  • And you know it right?

  • I've never heard it in my life.

  • Seriously.

  • I don't mind Madonna's 80's stuff though - it's quite good.

  • Yeah it's quite good actually, the one's she released in the 80's.

  • Then it all went downhill after the 90's.

  • Yeah.

  • Before checking in we first decided to explore the local town, famous for it's hot springs

  • after the ryokan gave us both some stylish silver coats.

  • Trury...

  • the fun never ends.

  • Look at him go.

  • What is this?

  • It's a hot spring actually - a natural hot spring that you can drink.

  • It is quite hot.

  • It's 72 degrees.

  • Is it quite sulphuric?

  • It is and it's salty actually. I tried it. So I think you should as well.

  • How much do you drink?

  • Well, just a little bit. I don't know

  • - as much as you want. It's good for your blood circulation.

  • -Oh my god it smells like a rotten egg. -Just try it. Just sip

  • It's good for your health!

  • That's horrible.

  • It is isn't it! But it's good for your health.

  • So what did you think?

  • No.

  • It's just like seawater.

  • Drinking seawater that smells like rotten eggs.

  • That's true.

  • What's she doing? Fishing for eggs?

  • No actually she's soaking eggs.

  • She's soaking eggs.

  • Actually they soak eggs in the hot spring for, I think 10 minutes or something.

  • 10 minutes.

  • Yeah, so that it gets half soft, half boiled. And you put some soy sauce on the top and you can eat it.

  • So you can eat it?

  • Yeah you can eat it.

  • We'll get to eat it tomorrow morning actually.

  • So here are some eggs that are being boiled nowpresumably.

  • -So how long will they be there? For 12 minutes? -12 minutes.

  • So who's eggs are they?

  • I don't know.

  • They've just left them there.

  • They're pretty confident.

  • I mean this shows just how safe it is.

  • The safety of Japan

  • you can leave your eggs boiling in some water down the street, and no-one will ever come and take them.

  • You couldn't do that in the UK.

  • You couldn't leave your eggs boiling in the water down the street. They'd be gone in 25 seconds.

  • The most dangerous thing in JapanIsis.

  • Real Isis.

  • Look at the size of them.

  • It's massive isn't it?

  • How many people a year do you think, meet their demise standing underneath those?

  • Well it actually happens a lot actually. I had it once.

  • It just came off on to my head.

  • And you didn't die?

  • I didn't die. I'm a strong guy you know.

  • After exploring the town and it's delicious mineral water,

  • we headed back to the ryokan to check into our rooms, before entering the hot spring.

  • So the thing I love about ryokans is the rooms are just so peaceful and relaxing.

  • You can see why Japanese families come here to relax.

  • In many ways you do feel like you've gone back in time - with the exception of the Panasonic television and a few other items.

  • And I find it a really great place to just disconnect from the outside world and just relax and unwind

  • With the view of the snow coming down outside,

  • it all comes to together to create just this, really peaceful, wonderful atmosphere.

  • With the exception of the snow coming off of the roof like that.

  • just your colour.

  • Yeah? Am I a purple guy?

  • I think you are a purple guy.

  • Oh really.

  • When you coming into a ryokan room, then you're going to have this.

  • This is a Yukata.

  • Some people say its like a kimono.

  • But a kimono is like a really thick and colourful.

  • The one that we would wear to celebrate something.

  • But in ryokan we call this a Yukawa - it's really thin.

  • What else

  • okay. You've got this big towel.

  • And then in the bag with a small towel inside.

  • Big towel, is to wipe your body off after you get out of the bath.

  • Small towel is the one you take in.

  • Modesty towel!

  • Sure. Modesty towel

  • you cover the private parts of the body. So you can take this into the bath.

  • But one thing you must not do is - please do not soak this one into the water.

  • So what you do,

  • what you do while you're in the bath - you put your towel, on your head.

  • Let's see what you look like with the yukata.

  • Okay, alright.

  • Oh yeah

  • So we're about to go into the onsen - let's change into the Yukata….so

  • Woah.

  • So there you go

  • - like a Jedi knight.

  • But better.

  • Only problem with Yukata is it really does make your stomach stick out.

  • So if you're like me, you have to stand up straight and give the illusion, you're fit.

  • Let's go!

  • What a way to enter an onsen.

  • You have to put you underwear into this.

  • And the towel. Remember I told you before - big towel inside, small towel - with you.

  • That's about it.

  • So we have to take our clothes off, so over.

  • Freezing cold!

  • I can't actually show you much, because we're not wearing anything.

  • But this is what an outdoor onsen looks like.

  • You've got a bench there for when you need a bit of time out.

  • Hot bath.

  • Awesome waterfall

  • falling snow.

  • This is the reason this is like my favourite thing in Japan.

  • It's so cold! Right now, it's January,

  • it's snowing and we're still not in the bath!

  • Let's go!

  • This is it

  • Look at that

  • So….there you go.

  • That's what it looks like in an onsen.

  • Andit's so niceabsolutely beautiful.

  • I feel very mellow after that, very - very relaxed.

  • Did you enjoy that?

  • Oh I loved it. I just absolutely loved it.

  • With the waterfall and everything.

  • The waterfalls, the snow

  • I know! It was perfect.

  • After relaxing in the onsen, we headed over to our private dining room for an incredible feast,

  • which would be hosted by the owner of the Kajikaso Ryokan, Mr Satou.

  • Look at that. Fantastic.

  • The meat! It's Yonezawa beef

  • Look at the presentation absolutely amazing.

  • Yeah!

  • This is what it's all about. And the beautiful snowy scene outside.

  • Had such an amazing dinner this evening.

  • To call it a dinner wouldn't seem right. It felt more like an experience.

  • What with all the little dishes, the amazing, beautiful presentation.

  • The copious amounts of sake.